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Ok for scientifically minded here, lets talk about anti vaxxers. Firstly I will give 2 definitions.
noun: vaccine; plural noun: vaccines
a substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies and provide immunity against one or several diseases, prepared from the causative agent of a disease, its products, or a synthetic substitute, treated to act as an antigen without inducing the disease.
noun: immunity; plural noun: immunities

  1. the ability of an organism to resist a particular infection or toxin by the action of specific antibodies or sensitized white blood cells.

It is a fact that effective vaccines take many years to develop, 10 years is often quoted, for long term testing purposes and more extensive data collection and analysis. A science.

Seasonal Flu vaccinations only cover specific strains of the influenza virus, are out of date in months and need to be administered yearly. It is for this reason that I dispute that these season shots should be classed as vaccinations. They do not provide immunity by definition.

I am not high risk for flu and believe they are useless for people like me to take as they are ineffective when talking immunity. My choice.
I am writing this so that when people like me are encountered, anti seasonal flu "vax's" types, that to assume they are anti vax is incorrect.
What I am is anti promoting medical products as vaccines when they are not. And then getting the whole pro vax brigade come down on you like a ton of bricks.
Not anti vax, anti bullshit science.

powder 8 May 22

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You can nitpick definitions all you want, but you can't base an argument on allegorical evidence, the fact that people who are vaccinated against the flu often get the flu is easily explained for a few reasons. One reason is that nothing is 100% effective. Mishandled or improperly stored vaccines can be rendered ineffective. There's also the fact that people are often exposed to the flu before they are innoculated and the vaccine is administered too late. Even if an innoculated individual gets the flu it's usually far less severe and its duration is reduced.

I didn't get flu vaccines for many years, not because I didn't believe in their efficacy or opposed them, but because I took many other precautions and was willing to take my chances because I rarely get ill. Last year, for the first time in almost two decades, I got the vaccine simply because my daughter-in-law was pregnant with my grandson. I didn't want to expose him.

JimG Level 8 May 23, 2020

Nice to have choice isn't it?


Besides my MD, I have a PhD in Immunology, and you are incorrect, although that's an interesting thought process which tells me we have done a bad job explaining vaccines to the public.

Flu vaccines are vaccines. Immunity is not actually defined by being permanent-- that applies both to vaccines and infection with wild-type pathogens. We can have short term or long term immunity. Some vaccines provide extremely long lasting immunity, even lifelong, such as the measles vaccine. Others need to be periodically boosted after the primary series and initial booster, such as pertussis.

Vaccines also vary in effectiveness. Tetanus vaccine is essentially 100% effective-- the only exception would be if you have severe immunodeficiency such that you cannot form immunity. Flu has the lowest effectiveness, at average 60%-- however, even if you still get the flu, it is more likely to be mild with the vaccine. 60% effective is always better than 0% effective. 😉

So basically you just need to add a modifier to immunity to indicate duration of protection, temporary or permanent. We haven't done that with vaccines, but maybe that would be a good idea to help nonmedical people differentiate: temporary and permanent vaccines?

If you'd like to learn more about duration of protection, here is an article you might be interested in. []

There are products which provide temporary immunity but which are not vaccines: antibody preparations. Either IVIg, which is not specific but contains all the antibodies present in donor serum, or specific products such as VZIg, varicella zoster antibodies for chickenpox. Or synagis for RSV in preemies, a monoclonal antibody.

Could you explain "effectiveness"? Is it effectiveness on the individual or group? Of effectiveness on influenza strains? Or the product produced? Or cases compared to last year? How is this effectiveness figure reached and what controls are used? What influences that can't be controlled included in monitoring? How long are these studies which determine effectiveness? And what % must be reached in effectiveness (whatever that is) to become classed as a vaccine? And how is this information collected as I was not informed of anywhere or anyone wanting feedback from me ie no one is bothering to monitor my reactions to the jab to determine effectiveness so how is it measured?

I understand it's a grey area, but pretend you have to give a yes or no answer.
Do seasonal jabs provide immunisation to the influenza virus?
If you answer yes it's a vaccine. If no, it's not. It's still in the experimental phase.

@powder it seems I did not explain well. A vaccine is just a product designed to stimulate the body to produce antibodies against a particular organism. There are plenty of vaccines that wind up never making it through the experimental phase-- in fact, most vaccines fail-- but they are still vaccines. There are effective and ineffective vaccines-- effective means better than placebo. So effectiveness can be anything from minimally better to 100%. Whether a vaccine gets approved depends on multiple factors-- its effectiveness, its risks, the prevalence of the disease, and the severity of the disease it is intended to reduce.

Sometimes vaccines cause the production of antibodies which are not neutralizing. They are still vaccines, just useless ones. Sometimes they cause antibodies which worsen the illness, as in some attempts at an RSV vaccine. Still called a vaccine-- a vaccine that flopped and never got approved.

For a disease which is highly deadly, like smallpox, the risk of death from the vaccine, 1 in 1 million, means the vaccine is safer than not getting vaccinated-- IF smallpox is loose. If it stays locked in the lab, not getting the vaccine is safer.

Yes, seasonal flu vaccines on average provide immunization which reduces risk of flu by 60%.

You are trying to redefine terms in ways that are not standard use in science. That's why I told you my background-- because I know the language you are trying to speak. I guess you can use whatever definition you want, but people will not understand you.

@powder all of those figures you are asking for are easily available in the medical literature, and you can even read FDA proceedings as they debate approval of various vaccines.

Here is the advice to pharma on what the FDA looks for in the vaccines []

And here is an example of a committee meeting-- these are open to the public []

@Leontion not just protection against organisms but viruses as well. For a science it seems vaccine is not definitivly defined. Definition is important in science which is why I enquired about "effectiveness".
I'm a bit of a jack of all trades but an area of expertise is safety from hazards and risk assessment. ID the hazard and minimise risk to an acceptable level, thats the idea. You minimise risk by putting in controls; usually procedure and Personal Protective Equipment or PPE.
The hazard is the influenza virus spreading and making people sick. So the real risk is spreading so we try to elliminate that all together. So what controls do we have available? Hygiene, PPE like face masks, cleaning surfaces, avoiding others when sick etc etc..............and vaccination.
Now as a control method I rate vaccination lowly. One, because effectiveness is not so great. But the overwhelming reason is it gives a false sense of security that the hazard has been effectively elliminated which it has not. Realistically it means other control methods are then ignored. My number one controls are good hygiene and face masks to protect others rather than yourself to stop the risk of spread.


Seasonal flu shots are vaccines. I think people should get them. I had my first flu shot 25 years ago, get them every year and have never gotten the flu. I get every vaccine available, pneumonia, shingles and I'll get a corona vaccine when/if. When I was a child I contracted measles which left me with arrhythmia and deaf in one ear. The measles vaccine came out shortly after I got it. I think parents should be mandated to vaccinate their children and subject to arrest if they refuse. If they want to expose their own children, I still don't think that's their right. By doing so they expose other people's children, for that they should go to jail. It's child abuse and public endangerment. I know this will make some heads explode. Try not to make a mess.


I am all about vaccination ! Big time .
But I HATE THE FLU SHOT exactly for the reasons U listed plus , I have seen w my own eyes side effects in healthy people ( GB cases ) . I fear that shot and yet I have no choice but taking it every year , is mandatory for health care providers at acute care .

Thxs and take care of yourself. Is mandatory for not only care facility staff but facility visitors in Aust now, visitors! But if resident, can refuse. Does my head in.

I am totally for vaccinating our children at the appropriate times....I don't get a flu shot because I see what it does to otherwise "healthy" people. ( I have only had the flu once - back in 1987) I'll just eat right, stay active and stay healthy.....its been working pretty good so far. 😉


Meh. I don't really care if the flu shot is technically a vaccine. I wouldn't call anyone an anti-vaxxer for declining the flu shot. Nor would I think that someone who regularly gets flu shots was full of bullshit.

I've had good luck with flu shots when I've bothered to get them. And I've been okay when I skipped a year, too. Does this mean they're useless? Maybe. I don't know.

I save my vitriol for people who don't vaccinate helpless children against the more debilitating diseases.

Your vitriol is directed towards the right people.

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